Location of Sighting: Los Angeles, California
Date of Sighting: July 11, 2022
Time of Sighting: 10:03 PM PDT
Description: On July 11, 2022, I was in the backyard of a friend’s home in Lake Balboa (in the city of Los Angeles), California, and while observing the International Space Station, I suddenly saw something very unusual, so unusual that I immediately began to watch it instead.
The location was near the Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando Valley, at the home of an artist friend, cross streets Gaviota and Saticoy. My college friend Sally had called me about 9:45 PM from near where she was staying in Mineral King at her family’s cabin (close to Yosemite), and suggested I look for the International Space Station as it came from the southwest, beginning at 9:59. She said it would be visible for about seven minutes and would look very bright, unmistakeable. I turned out all the yard lights and went outside.
I saw the ISS come from the southwest and when it was crossing directly overhead at about 10:03 PM I saw a very unusual sight, a round disk coming from the east, flipping over and over, like a coin, its trajectory horizontal, and somewhat perpendicular to the path of the space station, and heading in a westerly direction. There was light emitting from lights on it’s two parallel edges and it appeared to me that it may have been lower in the sky than the space station, as I could see it’s shape and it’s tumbling motion. Although it is difficult to judge size and distance (is something faraway and big, or closeup and small?), it appeared to be very high up, to me. But it all happened so fast – size unknown. I was so awestruck that I didn’t think to film it until it was farther away, and when I held up my iPhone to film it, I saw that it’s shape and tumbling motion was not visible at that distance.
I got about 25 seconds with my iPhone 12 Pro Max. I zoomed in and made the background black. It is just a speck from my now faraway vantage point, but I think I can actually see rotating going on, even at this great distance. I lost 15 seconds of the original footage by my editing (although all the original can still be retrieved). In the original video the sky looks grainy and you can see two electric wires. If you would like to see the original video, I will send it.
Although it is just a speck, I think I can see it turning, but from so faraway and at such a different angle, the disk form, lights, and flipping end-over-end motion are no longer visible. You will see nothing for 10 seconds, then a white speck will begin to drop from just left of the right top corner of the video frame for 10 seconds. It is not actually dropping but moving farther away. You will probably think that you don’t see anything remarkable.
I shared my experience with an amateur astronomer friend, Randy, who asked if I thought it might be a drone. I have only seen drones on videos and since July 11th, I have looked at many, even ones purported to be UFO-like, but I have seen nothing at all that either looked or moved like what I saw and I don’t think it was a drone. Randy also said that, because of the direction it was moving, it would not have been another satellite. I also spoke to an air traffic controller at the Van Nuys Airport. He said that they had “received no reports” and when I said, “Oh, I just realized that your field of vision is east – west – north – south, not straight up, so that may be why no one saw it.” He said, “I cannot discuss where we are looking.”
None of my 4 friends who were watching the ISS in different cities or locations saw what I saw. My friend who was present at the time saw it and he said that my simple drawing is a good rendition of the form of what he saw.
After finding your site, I thought to share my recent experience with you. I could send the original footage. If you like, you may publish my storyNote to Commenters: If you are reporting a sighting, be sure to include the location (city, state, country), date and time of your sighting. Be detailed in your description. You may also use our report form to report your sighting. Comments will only be published if they are in "good taste" and not inflammatory. Also the name that you list in the comment will be posted. Use abbreviations or aliases if you don't want your name listed.
Well, as elegant as it was, what I saw may have been space junk. I have just started research about space junk – and this video is something that everyone reporting UAPs should see!
Okay, I suddenly remember the lights! Wouldn’t the lights on it disqualify the theory that the UAP was “space junk”?
Not necessarily. I have seen some rocket boosters that have lights come out of orbit.
Thank you! That solves the mystery. I think that at this point we can safely say that what I saw was most likely some form of space junk. There must be many UAPs with lights on them that are actually lights on the circumferance of a rocket booster or similar. The lights are probably mounted so that the boosters can be located after falling back to Earth. And I surmise that rocket boosters are disengaged at a lower altitude, and could come out of an initial orbit to end up in a trajectory against the direction satellites typically rotate around the Earth.
Still, at the time, it was marvelous to see!
I am sure that it was marvelous to see.
Joel, I can tell you if the object in Puerto Rico is similar to what I saw, if you could post a link to the video you saw of it; I’d really like to see it! So far, my research has eliminated most known, aerial vehicles and objects of terrestrial origin. Several people have suggested that it might have been an experimental aircraft or “space junk”. I am still doing research on “space junk” to try to find out how likely it would move as this elegant UAP did, in a straight, level trajectory, flipping over and over. My friend who witnessed the UAP with me on July 11th and I both feel that this UAP did not look like anything that would have begun flight from an airport runway.
Hello Mr. Puckett! This report from the Los Angeles area is about as good as it gets when considering that this was a night-time encounter. The witness seems quite clear and concise in describing the object that he saw as appearing to be a ‘tumbling discoid object. This description made me think of the daylight visual-and infrared filmed object that was seen over a coastal area of Puerto Rico somewhat recently where the object of interest appeared to be tumbling as it moved over the terrain and the ocean. I don’t know if these objects were similar, but the witnesse’s description AND the video, being a night-time recording, does appear to show the object’s tumbling action. Thanks to you and this astute witness and his recording thereof!